Breath of Life Retreat House - Mailing Address: 709 N. Maranatha Rd, Payson AZ 85541
Physical Address: 5659 Chaparal Lane, Pine AZ 85544
Available in Audible,Paperback and Kindle.
I just finished the book yesterday, and am still reflecting on how beautiful and honest it is. Candy admits to reading maybe 2 books prior to writing this one. Her writing flows from her heart and is not colored by other styles.
She takes us on a journey from her childhood to now. Going through her childhood and teen years reminded me of mine. It's funny the thoughts that go through your head when faced with different aspects of life. Like Candy, my dad abused alcohol and my parents divorced when I was in high school. Chapter 4-Divorce, driving and decisions and Chapter 5-Moving Again? tells of her reactions to these curve balls presented to her at such a vulnerable age, and of the choices she made. As her Aunt Marie comments in the Epilogue, "Challenges can make or break a kid. These are the years that can create addictions and bitterness that last a lifetime."
These weren't the only challenges Candy was to face. Through each, she is transparent to us, the reader, sharing her doubts, frustrations, fears, hope, joy and love. Always with a positive attitude and a complete trust that God had her in the palm of his hand. I've been a Christian for many years, but am challenged by Candy's unwavering faith to trust Him even more.
I was blessed to meet Candy before reading the book. I attended a women's retreat at the Breath of Life retreat center a couple of weeks ago. Candy is as honest and transparent in person as she is in her book. You feel the presence of God throughout the property. It is truly a place to set aside the cares of this world and lean into your Lord and Savior. You'll take this special feeling home with you and will be encouraged to live intentionally, with His Plan in mind.
If you have a chance to go to Breath of Life, go! Until then, read this book. For me, it was a milestone in my faith walk, that I will reflect on and draw from for the future.
So how did Breath of Life Retreat House come to be?
Michael Christopher Roe
August 8th, 1958 - August 14, 2003
In the summer of 2003, not too long after my husband Mike Roe unexpectedly died, the Lord led me to build a retreat house in his memory. The long and sometimes arduous process resulted in closing escrow on a home three years later in Pine, Arizona. The close of escrow date was
August 29, 2006 which would have been Mike and my Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary.
Family members and friends opened themselves up to volunteer and help make the vision of Breath of Life a reality. In September of 2007, Breath of Life Retreat House had it's first women's retreat. We had twenty ladies and I was a participant. It was an amazing experience and celebration of the beginning of what is now my work and service to our guests. God has taken an unpredictable tragedy and allowed me to create a place of retreat for His glory. A place of peace, beauty and restoration. A place where I call...
home, work, vacation and... a little piece of heaven.
Why the name Breath of Life?
As I painfully watched nurses and doctors try to revive my husband as he struggled to breathe,
the images and sounds were difficult to forget. In fact, I still see and hear them, but
I chose to work through this painful memory by naming the retreat house, Breath of Life.
It seemed appropriate.
It acknowledges the transformation of a difficult memory into something life changing.
I know Mike's suffering in his last hour on earth has been replaced with unspeakable joy in heaven.
Something happened in 2008
After being a widow (yukky word) for five years and after most of the completion of the Retreat House renovations, God blessed me with another wonderful husband. Jim and I met on CatholicMatch.com and married five months later on October 18, 2008. We love serving our retreat guests together and Jim helps me in my studio with orders for my picture framing business and with my Christian calligraphy and art
Jim is Co-President of St. Vincent de Paul in Payson along with being a 4th degree Knight. In serving at St. Vincent de Paul, he selflessly donates much of his time to help those who are hurting, hungry and poor. This is done through the Food Bank and through Home Visits.
It's amazing how life can take you to places you could never imagine or dream of.
But wait..........there's more
In 2011, at the request of many guests wanting to know the full story of how I came to live in the mountains and how Breath of Life came to be, and at the prompting of a friend who is a writer, I wrote a memoir titled, Meet Me In The Mountains. The book is available on Kindle and in Paperback and also as a downloadable Audible version. If you are interested, click the book to purchase.